John Banner (John Banner)

John Banner

Actor. He had a forty five year career acting on stage, in motion pictures, and on television, and his best remembered for his role of ‘Sergeant Schultz’ in the 1960s television situation comedy “Hogan’s Heroes” (1965  to 1971).  An actor of Jewish descent in his hometown of Vienna, he was forced to leave when Germany and Austria unified in 1938, at the age of 28, during the Anschluss (union) between the two countries.  At the time of the Anschluss, he was touring Switzerland with an acting company, and with German Dictator Adolph Hitler’s anti-Semitic policies, he decided to immigrate to the United States.  Rapidly picking up English, he obtained work in the early 1940s in Hollywood, playing Nazis or Germans in war films, often uncredited.  His trim Nordic look and accent typecast him in the roles of the very villains who would murder his family that had been left behind in Austria – all of whom perished in the Holocaust.  His first motion picture role was in the 1941 film, “Accent on Love,” but he more often than not was uncredited in his roles.  He regularly found work in such films as “Desperate Journey” (1942), “Immortal Sergeant” (1943), “Tonight we Raid Calais” (1943), “Tangier” (1946), “Rendezvous 24” (1946), “My Girl” (1948), “King Solomon’s Mines” (1950), “The Beast of Budapest” (1958), “Operation Eichmann” (1961), “The Interns” (1961), and “Bedtime Story” (1964).  He would also play guest star roles on television, finding steady work in such shows as “The Lone Ranger”, “Fireside Theatre”, “Hallmark Hall of Fame”, “Father Knows Best”, and “The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin”.  By 1965, he had gained an additional 100 pounds, weighing 280 pounds, and had won the role of ‘Sergeant Georg Schultz’ on “Hogan’s Heroes.”  Portraying Schultz as an inept guard, he would become known for his character’s ignoring of the shenanigans going on in the camp with his signature “I know nothing!  I see nothing!”  After “Hogan’s Heroes” was cancelled in 1971, he signed on for another television sitcom, “The Chicago Teddy-Bears” (1971), set in the 1930s Chicago of Prohibition, with his character, ‘Uncle Latzi’, becoming a lovable bumbling gangster similar to the earlier Sgt. Schultz character.  However, the “Chicago Teddy-Bears” proved unpopular and was cancelled in the middle of the first season.   After that, he retired to his hometown of Vienna, Austria, where he died from an abdominal hemorrhage on his 63rd birthday, in 1973. (bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson) Cause of death: Abdominal hemorrhage


  • January, 28, 1910
  • Austria


  • January, 01, 1973
  • Austria

Cause of Death

  • Abdominal hemorrhage


  • Mauer Cemetery
  • Austria

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